North Korean soccer match features conspicuous ads
June 22, 2015
The soccer game in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung stadium last Tuesday featured a large number of commercials by North Korean companies, implying an ongoing economic transition.
In North Korea’s match with Uzbekistan, a regional competition with implications for participation in the 2018 World Cup, there were various commercials from Rason Taehung Trade Company, Choson Kumgang Group, Kaesong Koryo Ginseng, Malgeun Achim (clear morning), Pyongyang Construction Material Factory and Ryungmot (pond) Trade Company.
Kaesong Koryo Ginseng and Choson Kumgang were the two companies with the most commercials.
“North Korea has tried to popularize the image of an open policy, and these commercials seems part of it. They want to show that they are following global sports rules,” Kang Dong-wan of Dong-ah University told NK News. A large amount of commercials is an exceptional case. At the Mankyongdaesang sports competition, a domestic national sports event, from last March until April, there were no commercials at all.
As the World Cup games are broadcast abroad, this commercial seems designed to appeal to foreigners.
“North Korea hopes to build the brand power of its products like ginseng. At the same time, North Korea is recently promoting the consumption of domestic goods, by improving their quality, aiming to satisfy global consumers. In the long term, the growth of brand power can attract tourists and foreign investments,” Kang said.
The companies filmed for the commercials are usually working in trade. Rason Taehung Company deals with marine products, while Choson Kumgang Group deals with natural resources exports goods like gold, silver and leads, and imports mining equipment. The company called Malgeun Achim (clear morning) is known as newly established IT relevant company, according to a South Korean Media CBS.
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